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Old 03-11-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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Deck stain project gone bad - HELP


I recently finished staining my newly built deck. I completed the deck in late fall of last year, and didn’t get a chance to get stain on it before the weather got cold.

I spent some time researching my stain options and ended up going with Sherwin Williams Deckscapes products. I like the idea of having a local contact to talk to, and the ability to get samples colors. I also happened to stumble on a 25% off coupon which helped to minimize the blow to the wallet. I used their deckwash and oil based semi-transparent stain in Hawthorne color.

I started per their recommendation with the deck wash and a stiff bristled deck brush to clean the deck both top and bottom. I waited 2 days for the deck to dry and started the task of staining on the weekend. I started early morning on the underside posts and beams and my wife started on the railings up top. All the vertical surfaces were brushed on. I got to the floorboards around 3pm. I used a roller to apply the stain and back-brushed with a 4” brush. I ended up finishing up ~5:30pm.

Early the next morning I inspected my work and noticed several areas that had sucked up more stain than others. The datasheet I had printed for the stain showed a 24hr window to apply a second coat before the stain would begin to repel itself. I broke out my trusty brush and can of paint and tried to touch up any of the lighter parts to “feather” them out. I ended up going a little overboard and hit ~20% of the deck by the time I was done.

I relaxed Sunday afternoon, and had to travel away for business early Monday morning. Fast forward 2 weeks. Every area that I covered with a second coat shows signs of flashing. The areas are shiny and very noticeable.

Disgusted, I went Sherwin Williams to find a solution and was told to either: A – let the weather slowly blend the shiny spots away, or B – strip it off and start all over again. They said what I experienced was typical to a 2 coat application, yet they never warned me of the negative effects. Had I know, I would have applied a full second coat so all was even, or left it how it was.

My questions:
- Will the weather really fade the shiny areas with time? How much time am I looking at?
- Is there anything I can do locally with the shiny spots to try to blend them to match the rest of the deck?
- Are there any negative implications of using a chemical stripper to remove a fresh coat of stain to start from scratch? I’ve heard they can damage the boards bringing the need to sand.
- Am I crazy for considering option B?
- What would you do?

I spent 6-8 weeks completely by myself building this deck. It disgusts me to have to look at it the way it is currently. At the same time, I don’t have the time/patience/energy to strip the whole thing either, not to mention the cost of the stripper and additional stain.
I’ve attached a couple photos from Sun. afternoon shortly after I had finished the second coat to show what I’m talking about. It’s improved slightly since then, but not as much as I would have hoped.

Sorry for the long response. I appreciate your help.




And one to show the overall layout...

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Old 03-11-2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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Deck stain project gone bad - HELP


Nice deck! --I moved this to 'Paint" I believe a pro painter will offer a couple of suggestions.--Moderator--oh'mike

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Old 03-11-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
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Deck stain project gone bad - HELP


I use Deckscapes regularly and have never seen anything quite like this. You are stuck. Apply another coat now & it will just repel itself and simply lay on the surface without any penetration. To strip it and do over is gonna be one heckuva messy proposal. If you can live with it, I'd leave it go for now and see how it weathers. With spring/summer sunshine it will likely blend much better. I want to say you could sand the surface (to get better penetration) and reapply, but I wouldn't feel confident doing that unless I could test it on some scrap decking. My vote for now is to leave it alone, let it weather. Even though it doesn't look quite right, it's still providing a water repellant/sun blocking protection.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:59 PM   #4
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I use Deckscapes regularly and have never seen anything quite like this. You are stuck. Apply another coat now & it will just repel itself and simply lay on the surface without any penetration. To strip it and do over is gonna be one heckuva messy proposal. If you can live with it, I'd leave it go for now and see how it weathers. With spring/summer sunshine it will likely blend much better. I want to say you could sand the surface (to get better penetration) and reapply, but I wouldn't feel confident doing that unless I could test it on some scrap decking. My vote for now is to leave it alone, let it weather. Even though it doesn't look quite right, it's still providing a water repellant/sun blocking protection.
Have you applied a second coat within the 24hr window with success?

I've noticed that it has shown minor improvements since the pics were taken a little over a week ago.

Sucks to spend all the time, money and effort and be unhappy with the final product. I really wish that Sherwin Williams would have given some kind of warning. Why state that a second coat can be put down within 24hrs if it's not going to dry properly?

Oh well, a frosty adult beverage may help my mood.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:14 PM   #5
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put some furniture out there to take your eyes of the deck then just let nature run its course...eventually it will all blend ........i call this the ''FREE'' method of fixing that deck
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:54 PM   #6
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Deck stain project gone bad - HELP


Everything that shines will slowly lose its luster. You second coated the low spots and now you have high spots. High spots are not uncommon when using oil on a deck, as the wood doesn't absorb evenly. I try to keep my eye on the deck as it starts to set up and the spots that might shine will be somewhat noticeable. I buff them slightly with a lint free rag to soak up some of the excess. It's similar to ragging off stain when doing trim, put it on, let it absorb, then wipe for uniformity. I had some success years ago removing some shiners with thinner, though this was before it cured. If you've had cool, damp weather it may not be fully cured, try it. The top coat did not absorb so it's going to take longer to cure anyway. Worth a shot. Do a test spot. Put some on, then put some on, then put some on, let the thinner soak it for a while, then try to buff it. You've got nothing to lose but a little time. If that doesn't work, turn it over to Mother Nature.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the feeback. I've been a lurker on this forum for many years, but this is my first thread. This forum has been a great resource for previous projects.

I've been thinking about tryring a thinner in a hidden spot on the deck to see the results. I'd just hate to turn it into more of an eysore than it is now. I don't want to get to a point that I'd HAVE to strip the whole thing.

Furniture is coming shortly. I'm sure that will help make the trouble spots less noticable.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:12 PM   #8
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put some furniture out there to take your eyes of the deck then just let nature run its course...eventually it will all blend ........i call this the ''FREE'' method of fixing that deck
that deck is beautiful nice job man. im assuming that you applied stain at proper spread rate some times wood will take stain at different rate .the ,rest of deck looks perfect i hate to say it but i think you got to picky.and should have left it alone .but hey i could be wrong im only basing that on how good the rest of deck looks .oles right you get your grill ,chase , table ,flower pots you forget all about it
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:29 PM   #9
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Deck stain project gone bad - HELP


That's common flashin. You cannot touch up stain. It will fade/blend faster than you think, especially on a walking surface.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:22 AM   #10
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Deck stain project gone bad - HELP


If the thinner is not going to knock the shine down a bit it won't do any damage. I think the general gist of the thread is right. I started to edit to add that you're going to have to accept some high spots, especially in the out years. Once the dirt starts laying, the sun starts beating on it, and the rain, it'll fade. If you did all that work yourself, you did a real nice job. congrats.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:47 AM   #11
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Deck stain project gone bad - HELP


Another thing about Deckscapes.........it will continue to repel itself for 2-3 years on VERTICAL surfaces. I have been trying to re-stain some spindles on a deck for 2 years & each time I have to explain what's happening to the homeowner. I can re-stain any HORIZONTAL surface with no problem. Just a heads up.......
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:53 AM   #12
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Another thing about Deckscapes.........it will continue to repel itself for 2-3 years on VERTICAL surfaces. I have been trying to re-stain some spindles on a deck for 2 years & each time I have to explain what's happening to the homeowner. I can re-stain any HORIZONTAL surface with no problem. Just a heads up.......
Gymschu, does SW have any suggestions on abrading that surface so that it will accept a recoat? I've only used deckscapes once, latex solid, real nice product, very forgiving and leveled nicely.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:23 AM   #13
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Even though the products recommend a 24hr window to re-coat...thats just it, re-coat, not "touch up". I always always recommend 2 coats back to back, or wet on wet. Stain the full lengths of 3-4 boards at a time ( whatever's more comfortable for you ) Then when you are finished with those boards, if the stain looks absorbed, do them again immediately. Then on to the next set of 3-4 boards, and do the same thing again.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
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Just a quick update.

It looks as though the shiny spots are already starting to fade. We've had some good sun over the weekend and I can see a noticeable difference already. It's at lease encouraging to see progress.

I'll provide some updated pictures in a couple weeks when hopefully the flashing is almost gone...

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